Tuesday 3 February 2009

Those lost registers

The Glenrothes registers which have been lost are causing a bit of a stushie. Labour's bit:
Scottish Labour backed calls for a probe into why "an SNP government department lost confidential personal data again".
OK, it's the Sheriff Court, so it could be argued that it belongs to the SNP Government. I prefer to think of it as the SNP Government being current custodians rather than owning the state, but it's a difference of approach.

Secondly, I think it's the first time that Scottish Government 'owned' data has been lost since May 2007, so the 'again' is wrong. Thirdly, the data isn't confidential, it's left open for public scrutiny for a year. I'm surprised that Labour doesn't understand our election systems

It was the last part of Labour's quote that got me, though:
"The ballot papers were counted fair and square in front of the eyes of the world."
Who ever said they weren't? What a curious thing to say.

Update: There's another bit to the Labour quote in the Scotsman story:
The marked register is provided for the convenience of political parties.

No it's not. It's provided to allow members of the public to check a few things, things like whether their own name is marked as voted or not voted - or that of anyone else on the register - and, should the elector wish, to count the names scored off and check whether this tallies with the number of votes cast as announced by the Returning Officer.

It's about giving the voting public an assurance that their elections are run properly, not for the convenience of political parties (what convenience, exactly, anyway?) Confusing the proper running of elections with the convenience of political parties is a mark of contempt for the election and for the democratic process.

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